Friday, October 06, 2006

War and Peace - Nuances - Marriage and Opera

One of the interesting things about War and Peace is the serial notions of human behavior. For example, there are at least three examples of how people get engaged. Tolstoy offers up examples with Pierre, and Andrei, Boris and even Anatole Kuragin. Each has a halting approach. But the style among the characters is a bit different. Pierre seems almost forced into his proposal (and that eventually evolves into his fractured marriage). Andrei is a bit more restrained - in part because of the potential of his father's opposition. Boris is excited. And Anatole is scheming. Tolstoy uses the character type for each to express how they carry out an important life task.

The second impression I have is the opera in the book. It is unclear which opera Tolstoy is using - Faust came to mind. But the point of his description of what happens during the opera is fascinating. The interchanges, both verbal and non, continue through the playout of the opera. I got the distinct impression that most of the attendees were not as interested in the presentation on the stage as they were in the dynamics in the audience.

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